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Author of the Month: Ece Temelkuran (Jun 2017)

2017, Author of the Month, Authors, Books, June 2017, Parthian Books, Women in Translation -

Author of the Month: Ece Temelkuran (Jun 2017)

Ece Temelkuran was born in 1973 and is a Turkish writer, journalist and political commentator. She has written various columns which have been published in leading international newspapers such as the Guardian and Le Monde. Her work has not gone unnoticed: in 2001 she received the Pen for Peace Award and in 2009 she received the Free Thought and Democracy Award. Her work often tackles subjects like the Kurdish and Armenian questions, the women's movement, and political prisoners, which are all highly controversial topics in her homeland of Turkey. Her criticism of the Turkish government eventually led to her dismissal from the Turkish Newspaper Habertürk.

Besides her columns and critical articles, her debut poetry collection Bütün Kadınların Kafası Karışıktır was published in 1994. Since then she has published both essay collections and novels, which have been translated into English, Arabic, German, Dutch, Croatian and more.

Deep Mountain: Across the Turkish-Armenian Divide, which is the English translation of the book Ağrı'nın Derinliği, published in 2010 is Temelkuran’s ‘personal and political journey of the heart of the Turkey-Armenia conflict’ and explores the living history and continuing denial of the Armenian genocide. Book of the Edge, the English translation of her collection of poetry Kıyı Kitabı, was also published in 2010 (by BOA Editions) and five years later Devir was published by Everest.

Her most recent publication is her novel Women who Blow on Knots, the English translation of Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar. With sales exceeding over 120,000 copies in Turkey, this Arab Spring road trip novel chronicles a voyage reaching from Tunisia to Lebanon, taken by three young women and septuagenarian Madam Lilla. Although the three young women embark on the road for different reasons – for each holds a dark secret – it is only at the journey’s point of no return that Lilla’s own murderous motivations for the trip become clear.

Unique and controversial in its country of origin for its political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, Temelkuran weaves an empowering tale that challenges us to ponder not only the social questions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East, but also the universal bonds of sister- and motherhood.





Praise for Ece Temelkuran:

‘Ece Temelkuran’s second novel is like a firework. It is the book where Twitter and the Thousand and One Nights fairytales meet.’ Professor Hannes Kraus, KulturWest, Germany

The novel seems like a fairytale but actually it is also a first-class geopolitical analysis of today’s world.’ L’Alsace, Switzerland 

‘Temelkuran opens a battle against uniformed Muslim literary female characters.’ – Özlem Ezer, Professor of Literature, Literary Critic

‘This is an extraordinary novel, a stunning road story, a bitter fairytale and an awakening dream.’ – Gülenay Börekçi – Literary Critic


Temelkuran will speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival this August.


Buy Women who Blow on Knots from Parthian Books

Author website: www.ecetemelkuran.com 

Twitter: @ETemelkuran